The Straits Times
Published on Nov 15, 2012

Troubled Qantas in debt, share buyback plan


SYDNEY (AFP) - Qantas said Thursday it would accelerate A$650 million (S$824 million) in debt repayments and buy back shares worth A$100 million in a bid to shore up its ailing stock and boost confidence.

The Australian airline's chairman Leigh Clifford said the on-market buyback, which represents about four percent of total Qantas stock, and early debt repayment reflected the board's confidence in the carrier's improving fortunes.

"Our continued progress towards the turnaround strategy for Qantas International, plus cash inflows from recent transactions, gives the board confidence to approve these capital management measures," Mr Clifford said.

"The share buy-back and accelerated debt reduction reflect the board's goal of returning value to shareholders and maintaining a strong balance sheet, as well as retaining the flexibility to pursue current growth initiatives."